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From 8 mm to cinemascope
Raoul Coutard Film-maker
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That format change was still quite a tough blow for us. And so the big drama was that at the time cinemascope was in fashion. We really struggled to find equipment. The only thing that we managed to find is an old system, which was an old Dyaliscope system, which was sort of a bloc system. But... well, it was a old system because the big problem was that we couldn't... We could... The shortest distances were 2.50 meters, and afterwards we had to change the lenses to go from 2.50 meters to 1 meter. So it was still an extreme complication... well, for the long focal lengths, 75 and 100 mm.

Ce changement de format était quand même pour nous un coup dur. Et alors le gros drame c'est qu'à l'époque la mode était au cinémascope. On avait de grosses difficultés de trouver du matériel. Le seul truc qu'on a réussi à trouver c'est un ancien système qui était un ancien système Dyaliscope, qui était disons un système de bloc. Bon mais c'était un ancien système parce que je veux dire le gros problème c'est qu'on ne pouvait pas... On pouvait aller... Les distances les plus courtes c'était deux mètres cinquante, et après il fallait changer l'optique pour passer de deux mètres cinquante à un mètre. Alors c'était quand même d'une complication extrême, enfin j'entends pour les focales longues, 75 et 100 mm.

French cinematographer, Raoul Coutard (1924-2016) was twice nominated for the César Award for best cinematography which he won in 1978 for 'Le Crabe-tambour'. He made over 75 films and documentaries, including 'À Bout de Souffle', Le Mépris' and 'Band à Part'. He was the most acclaimed French cinematographer of his generation and one of the key figures of the New Wave.

Listeners: Bernard Cohn

Benard Cohn is a French filmmaker and writer, who has directed five films as well as numerous documentaries and television series. As an assistant director, he worked with many important filmmakers, including Luis Buñuel, François Jacob, Otto Preminger and Woody Allen. He was a founding member of the Ciné-Qua-Non cinema club and has acted as editor and translator for various publications on the world of cinema.

Bernard Cohn est un réalisateur et écrivain français, ayant réalisé cinq film ainsi que de nombreux reportages et séries télévisées. En tant qu'assistant réalisateur, il a travaillé avec plusieurs grands cinéastes, notamment Luis Buñuel, François Truffaut, Otto Preminger et Woody Allen. Il fut membre fondateur du ciné-club Ciné-Qua-Non et a participé à la rédaction et traduction en anglais, de plusieurs ouvrages sur le cinéma.

Tags: Dyaliscope, cinemascope, cinematography

Duration: 45 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008